COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Maryland football team looks to earn its second Atlantic Coast Conference victory of the season when the Terps travel to Winston-Salem on Saturday for a 3:32 p.m. kickoff against Wake Forest at BB&T Field. The Terps bounced back from their defeat at Florida State to knock off Virginia, 27-26, on Saturday to improve to 5-1. With wins in five of its first six games, Maryland is off to its best start since the 2001 season, when the Terps won their first seven.
LIVE Coverage on the ESPNU & the Terrapin Sports Radio Network
• Saturday’s game will be broadcast on ESPNU at 3:30 p.m. Anish Shroff (pbp) and Kelly Stouffer (color) will call the action. It can also be heard on the Terrapin Sports Radio Network – Johnny Holliday (pbp), Tim Strachan (color) and Scott McBrien (sideline) have the call. The game can also be heard on Sirius Radio Channel 134 and XM Radio Channel 193, as well as over the internet at www.umterps.com.
• Behind a career-best 332 yards from quarterback Caleb Rowe and a personal-best 169 all-purpose yards from running back Brandon Ross, the Terps totaled 468 yards of total offense. Maryland has gone over 450 yards of total offense in four of six games. Rowe completed 18-of-34 passes for 332 yards, the ninth-best passing performance in the ACC this season, and one touchdown, which gave the Terps the lead with 5:14 remaining in the game. Rowe capped the six-play, 69-yard drive by finding tight end Dave Stinebaugh in the end zone for the senior’s second career touchdown reception. On the game-winning drive, Rowe was 3-of-4 for 80 yards including a 47-yard completion to wide receiver Deon Long on third-and-22 from the Maryland 40-yard line.
• On the ground, Ross totaled 88 yards averaging 6.3 yards per carry and finished with two touchdowns. The sophomore running back also hauled in three passes for a career-best 81 yards including a 77-yard catch-and-run late in the first quarter to set up his first rushing score of the game. The 77-yard reception is the longest pass play for the Terps this season and is tied for the fifth-longest in the ACC. Ross ranks seventh in the ACC in rushing averaging 68.9 yards per game.
• Wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Deon Long combined for 10 of Rowe’s 18 completions. Diggs had a team-high six catches for 96 yards, while Long led the squad with 98 yards receiving on four catches. Diggs and Long have combined for 54 catches this season accounting for 51.9 percent of the Terps’ receptions. Diggs leads the team with 520 yards receiving and is averaging 86.7 yards per game, which ranks eighth in the ACC, with three touchdowns. Long has totaled 446 yards and one touchdown, and is averaging 74.3 yards per game.
• Defensively, the Terps held the Cavaliers to just six points off of three Maryland turnovers and held UVA to four field goals on six trips inside the redzone. After allowing Virginia to convert 45.4 percent (5-for-11) of its third downs in the first half, Maryland turned up the pressure in the second half and held the Cavs to 3-of-9 on third down in the second half.
• ACC Linebacker of the Week L.A. Goree recorded a game-high and career-best 16 tackles on Saturday. The 16 stops is the most by a Terp defender since Demetrius Hartsfield had 18 tackles at NC State on Nov. 26, 2011. Goree also finished with one tackle for loss. After recording a personal-best 10 tackles at Florida State, defensive backAnthony Nixon topped it with 12 tackles, nine solo, and a tackle for loss. Eight different Terps combined for eight tackles for loss led by linebacker Marcus Whitfield’s 1.5 TFL for seven yards. In the secondary, defensive back A.J. Hendy finished career-best two pass breakups.
• On special teams, Brad Craddock added two more field goals (36, 32) to his season total. He is now 12-of-14 on the season. He is averaging 2.00 field goals a game, which is tied for first in the conference and tied for third nationally, and his 85.7 percent conversion rate is tied for fourth in the ACC. Craddock has not missed a field goal attempt under 50 yards.
• Offensively, Maryland has shown the propencity to break a big play throughout the season. Against Virginia, the Terps had seven plays of 30 yards or more and have had at least one play of 30 yards or more in every game this season.
• The number of big plays has not been more evident than in the passing game. The Terps are averaging 15.58 yards per reception, a total that ranks ninth nationally. Since the 1980 season, no other Maryland team has averaged more yards per reception.
• Running back Brandon Ross’ 77-yard catch-and-run late in the first quarter on Saturday was the first of Maryland’s seven plays that went 30 or more yards. The reception was a career long for Ross and the Terps’ longest reception of the season. It is also tied for the fifth-longest pass play in the ACC.
• In addition, Ross’ sprint down the sidelines was the longest non-scoring reception by a Maryland player since Scott Milanovich hit Jermaine Lewis for 78 yards at North Carolina on Sept. 11, 1993.
• Ross finished with a career-best 169 all-purpose yards against UVA. The sophomore running back had 88 yards on the ground and 81 yards receiving. Ross is the first Maryland player to finish with 75 or more yards rushing and receiving in a game since LaMont Jordan rushed for 89 yards and had 86 yards receiving in a 17-14 win at Wake Forest on Oct. 9, 1999.
• Despite being ranked 14th in the ACC in redzone defense, the Terps have done a tremendous job of holding opponents to field goals inside the 20-yard line. Of Virginia’s six trips inside the 20 on Saturday, the Terps held the Cavaliers to just two touchdowns. Of the 19 redzone scores given up by Maryland this season, 11 have been touchdowns for a conversion rate of 57.9 percent, which is the second-best precentage in the conference behind Syracuse.
• Additionally, Maryland’s defense has done a great job of minimizing the impact of the Terps’ offensive turnovers. Maryland held Virginia to two field goals on three Terrapin fumbles. On the year, Maryland has only surrendered 33 points on 12 turnovers, a 2.75 points per TO average. In the last four games, the average drops to 1.78 with 16 points off of nine turnovers.
• Quarterback Caleb Rowe stepped in for the injured C.J. Brown and threw for a career-high 332 yards in Saturday’s victory over Virginia. It is the most passing yards by a Maryland quarterback this season and the ninth-best passing performance in the ACC.
• Rowe’s 332-yard performance is the most passing yards by a Terrapin quarterback since Danny O’Brien threw for 348 yards against Miami to open the 2011 season (Sept. 5, 2011).
Maryland Gameday Notes
Scout Team Players of the Week: Each Thursday during the season Edsall will announce the scout team players of the week. This week’s scout team players of the week are quarterback Dustin Dailey (offense), linebacker Jalen Brooks (defense), and linebacker Marc Rodriguez (special teams).
Flag Bearers: Running back Albert Reid will carry the American flag, and linebacker Marcus Whitfield will carry the Maryland flag during Saturday’s introductions.
Game Captains: With the establishment of the leadship council for this season, Edsall will name game captains prior to each contest. The captains for the Wake Forest game are wide receiver Deon Long (offense), linebackerCole Farrand (defense), and place kicker Brad Craddock (special teams).
Maryland-Wake Forest Series History
• Saturday marks the 62nd meeting between the Demon Deacons and the Terps in a series that began in 1917.
• Maryland and Wake Forest have met every year since 1971 with the Terps holding a 43-17-1 advantage all-time. Maryland won last season’s meeting in College Park, 19-14.
• The home team has won the last six meetings in the series. Maryland’s last win in Winston-Salem came in 2005, a 22-12 win.